Author: Peter (1 Pet 1:1)(In 2 Pet 3:1, Peter wrote that it was his second Epistle.)
(For more on Peter see: Survey: Biography Of Peter)
Because this letter was written in sophisticated and polished Greek, some have argued that Peter,
who was an "unlearned" fisherman (Acts 4:13) could not have written it. However, it appears that,
as was the case with Paul in many of his letters, Peter dictated his letter to Silas (Silvanus)
"By Silvanus... I have written" (1 Pet 5:12) who could have polished or smoothed out Peter's
Greek. (Silas may also have delivered this letter.)
The writer was also an eyewitness to several things that occurred to Jesus (1 Pet 1:8)(1 Pet 5:1),
and considered Mark to be his "son" (1 Pet 5:13). This term was often used by those who had
previously lead someone to the Lord (see: Phile 1:10, 1 Tim 1:2,18, 2 Tim 1:2, 1 Cor 4:7).
(As we discussed previously in the Survey Of Mark, Peter had a great influence on Mark's writing
of his Gospel.)
There is also a great deal of similarity between Peter's speeches found in Acts and verses found
in 1st Peter. Compare:
(1 Pet 1:12) / (Acts 5:32)
(1 Pet 2:24) / (Acts 5:30, 10:39)
(1 Pet 1:17) / (Acts 10:34)
(1 Pet 4:5) / (Acts 10:42)
(1 Pet 1:21) / (Acts 2:32, 3:15, 10:40)
(1 Pet 5:1) / (Acts 2:32, 3:15)
(1 Pet 2:7) / (Acts 4:11)
** The Greek word for "tree" ("Xulon" in Greek)(figurative of the cross) is used by Peter in (1 Pet 2:24)
and also in (Acts 5:30)(Acts 10:39).
In addition, all 11 key early church fathers (Clement Of Rome, Ignatius, Papias, Polycarp, Justin
Martyr, Irenaeus, Clement Of Alexandria, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Origen, Eusebius) agreed that
Peter authored this book.
As we mentioned in our previous Survey Of James, Peter also paraphrased a number of passages from
the book of James when he wrote 1st Peter.
App. 64 A.D. (Either shortly before, or very soon after, the great fire that destroyed half of Rome.)
Peter, as well as his readers, had access to a number of Paul's Epistles (see: 2 Pet 3:15-16).
1st Peter contains a great number of similarities with several of these earlier Epistles, in
particular Paul's letter to the Ephesians. Compare: (1 Pet 1:2 to Eph 1:4-7)(1 Pet 1:3 to Eph 1:3)(1 Pet 2:18 to Eph 6:5)(1 Pet 3:1 to Eph 5:22)(1 Pet 5:5 to Eph 5:21). Paul's letter to the
Ephesians was a part of the "Prison Epistles" that he wrote while in prison in Rome (60-62 A.D.),
so Peter wrote after this. Peter was martyred in 67 or 68 A.D. so it had to be written before
Place Written: Babylon (1 Pet 5:13)
Babylon could "literally" have been the place called Babylon which was located on the Euphrates
River in Mesopotamia. Josephus said that there were a great number of Jews in the Roman province
of Babylon, and there was also a large synagogue. The provinces are also listed in (1 Pet 1:1)
in the order in which they would naturally occur if writing from Babylon.
Babylon could also have been "symbolic" of Rome (see: Rev 14:8, 17:5, 18:2,10,21), so called
because of its ungodliness. (Symbolic names and symbols were often used to protect Christians in
the midst of persecution i.e. the fish symbol Christians often display today.)
Because there is no evidence that Peter ever visited the actual city called Babylon, and a great
deal of evidence that Peter spent the last years of his life in Rome, most scholars today believe
it was symbolic of Rome.
Christians in the 5 provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia (1 Pet 1:1),
located in northwestern Asia Minor (modern Turkey).
These were most likely scattered former Jews (1 Pet 1:10-12)(1 Pet 2:11-12), but also Gentiles
(1 Pet 1:14,18)(1 Pet 2:9-10)(1 Pet 4:3-4).
Key Verses: (1 Pet 1:3-7,23-25)(1 Pet 2:9-11,24)(1 Pet 3:1-4,7,12,17-22)(1 Pet 4:8,12-14)(1 Pet 5:4-8)
To comfort and strengthen these Christians in the face of suffering (possibly due to increased
persecution of Christians following the fire in Rome).
To more fully explain the doctrines of Christianity.
To encourage them to remain steadfast in their faith and live righteous lives in the midst of
adversity, and have hope that God would ultimately deliver them.
To teach them to be humble (1 Pet 5:5-6) and submit to others for the cause of Christ.
Some form of the word "suffer" is used 15 times in 1st Peter. This is more than any book in the
New Testament but Acts (16 times).
Being "holy" is mentioned 4 times. This is more than any other book in the New Testament.
Of the 105 verses in 1st Peter, more than one-third are references to the Old Testament.
Peter has often been called the "apostle of hope" and this an "Epistle of hope." The word
is used 4 times in 1st Peter.
The Epistle is in three parts:
1. Christian suffering and conduct in the light of full salvation, 1:1-2:8.
2. The believer's life in view of his sevenfold position, and of the vicarious suffering of Christ, 2:9-4:19.
3. Christian service in the light of the coming of the Chief Shepherd, 5:1-14.
(Survey from Scofield Reference Notes [1917 ed.]: Public Domain)